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(Page 19 of 125)
Features

Capitals defenseman Niskanen enjoying extra ice time

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Matt Niskanen
Defense - WSH
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 2
SOG: 5 | +/-: 3
Matt Niskanen learned the nuances of handling a heavier workload last season, when he was unexpectedly elevated on the Pittsburgh Penguins defensive depth chart because of a rash of injuries.

Niskanen went on to have the best season of his career and this past summer he cashed in with a seven-year, $40.25 million contract from the Washington Capitals. Now it's the Capitals reaping the rewards from the experience Niskanen gained while playing for their biggest rival.

"I'm realizing he's a pretty outstanding player," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.

Niskanen's ice time reflects Trotz's praise.


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Galchenyuk has huge role in Canadiens' early success

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 12:36 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- As Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin went about changing the look of his team in the offseason, he had a keen observer in Alex Galchenyuk.

Alex Galchenyuk
Center - MTL
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 7
SOG: 17 | +/-: 4
Bergevin traded away defenseman Josh Gorges and allowed a number of older veterans to leave as free agents, including captain Brian Gionta, in an effort to turn the Canadiens over to the younger players that make up their core talent.

Most people took that to mean players like P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty, established stars in the NHL, would be given more important roles with the Canadiens this season.

But Galchenyuk saw it differently.

He decided, at age 20, he would need to become a player the Canadiens could lean on. It is seven games in to the season, but the early returns are that Galchenyuk has become just that.

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Howe, Gretzky conduct 20 questions on Howe's career

Tuesday, 10.21.2014 / 12:51 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

"Mr. Hockey: My Story," the new memoir by all-time hockey great Gordie Howe, hit the shelves Oct. 14. Howe, 86, has a form of dementia and is not doing media interviews to promote the book. However, the Canadian publisher of "Mr. Hockey" has provided the text of a Q & A between Howe and Wayne Gretzky, which was conducted by email in September. Gretzky, a close friend of the Howe family, wanted to be involved in the book's release. Gretzky and an editor worked together to come up with the questions for the interview, the only one Howe will do to promote the book. Marty Howe, Gordie's son, transcribed his father's answers. This interview first appeared in several Canadian outlets earlier this month.

Order the book now at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

WAYNE GRETZKY: In your memoir you write about participating in the puck-drop ceremony for the 2014 Winter Classic alumni game at Comerica Park. Could you tell me a little bit about playing outdoors as a child? What was your local rink like? What's your fondest memory of playing outside?

GORDIE HOWE: I loved playing hockey and looked forward to getting on the ice. If I wasn't home eating I was on the ice skating all winter. The rink was just boards and ice. In the Depression there was no money to do much — I think we were lucky there was man-made ice to skate on. I don't know that any memory stands out as the fondest, but I always liked to score and loved to win. That was what I lived for.

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Emerging trios by the slice

Tuesday, 10.21.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

It's tough to order pizza by the pie in fantasy hockey. Grabbing a slice is much more realistic.

Because of frequent changes to forward combinations and injuries over the course of the regular season, it's always tough to land an under-the-radar point pair, let alone all three pieces of an emerging line. But, in many cases, one slice of the pie can be satisfying.

Three examples have come into fruition over the first two weeks of this season. Each of these trios was either underrated or unlikely entering the season, but has meshed so well that each component has turned into a commodity. The quicker you land a piece of one of these trios, either via trade or the waiver wire, the quicker your team can reap the benefits.

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Five Questions: Stars' Spezza talks move to Dallas

Tuesday, 10.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza:

One of the biggest differences in Jason Spezza's daily routine in Dallas compared what he used to do in Ottawa is also one of the most private.

Spezza, who is in his first season with the Dallas Stars after 11 seasons with the Ottawa Senators, listens to more sports talk radio while alone in his car now than he ever did in Canada's capital city. The reason is simple, and obvious: He doesn't hear his name nearly as often anymore.

"I listen to (Dallas) Cowboys talk on my way to the rink," Spezza said. "It's refreshing, I can tell you that."


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Hockey Fights Cancer campaign begins Oct. 20

Monday, 10.20.2014 / 4:45 PM / Hockey Fights Cancer

NHL.com

NEW YORK / TORONTO -- Fans are asked to help the hockey family fight cancer as part of the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), and the National Hockey League's (NHL®) annual Hockey Fights Cancer™ initiative, taking place from Oct. 20 – Nov. 17, 2014. Since its inception in 1998, the joint charitable initiative has been dedicated to raising awareness for national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research. Together, the NHLPA and NHL will distribute more than $200,000 in grants to national and local cancer organizations in all 30 NHL markets.

"Over the years, our hockey family – fans, players, Club personnel, broadcast partners – has continuously shown their relentless spirit in helping one another in the fight against cancer," said Ken Martin Jr., NHL Vice President of Cause Marketing. "The NHL is proud to join forces with its hockey community to help give back and support those who need it most."

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Fantasy All-Access: Surprise starts around League

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

The Colorado Avalanche were the surprise team last season. They rose triumphant in the Central Division behind an MVP season by goaltender Semyon Varlamov and the coaching of Jack Adams winner Patrick Roy. Flash forward to this season and in six games they have already started three different goalies thanks to injuries, averaging only 1.50 goals per game and being outscored 5-2 in the third period.

All-Access is here to tell you to pull your hand off the panic button and realize this season is a marathon, not a sprint. Reigning Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon does have three points in the first six games and Varlamov could be returning by the end of the week from his groin injury. The Avalanche won’t be the team to beat in the Central this season, but that doesn’t mean their players can't be assets to your fantasy team.

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Hagelin uses speed to his advantage in Rangers' win

Sunday, 10.19.2014 / 9:14 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Carl Hagelin
Left Wing - NYR
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 1
SOG: 13 | +/-: -4
NEW YORK -- In the process of adjusting to a new role, Carl Hagelin relied on his greatest asset Sunday to help the New York Rangers defeat the San Jose Sharks.

After five games to the start the season without a point, Hagelin scored at 13:01 of the first period, the opening salvo in a 4-0 victory for the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

The play began in a familiar place for Hagelin this season, with a faceoff in the defensive zone. After Dominic Moore won the draw to the left of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, defenseman John Moore sent an outlet pass to Hagelin beyond the blue line in the neutral zone.

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Sunday Long Read: Babcock tree seeded by chances

Sunday, 10.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Bill Peters didn't know what to think when he saw Mike Babcock frenetically walking toward his table at the 2014 NHL Draft.

Peters, named coach of the Carolina Hurricanes eight days before, worked the three previous seasons on Babcock's staff with the Detroit Red Wings.

"He came over and said, 'Come here for a minute,'" Peters said. "I didn't know what was going on, but he was moving around like he was in a house on fire."

Peters knew better than to stay put. When coach summons you, you respond. Something meaningful is likely happening.

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Avalanche shrug off doubters, slow start to season

Saturday, 10.18.2014 / 3:07 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Colorado Avalanche came into this season with many in the hockey world doubting their ability to build off their surprising performance in 2013-14.

The percentages simply didn't add up to long-term success.

So when the Avalanche came out of the gates with back-to-back losses by a combined score of 8-0 to the Minnesota Wild, the team that eliminated them from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference First Round, it appeared as though those predictions of regression were not so off base.

Those whispers were heard by the Avalanche in the offseason, and they're still being heard now. But the only affect it has had on Colorado is to strengthen the resolve to prove those people wrong.

"We certainly know that there are doubters out there. They're always going to be there," Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said Saturday prior to facing the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET, TVA, CITY) to close out a four-game Atlantic Division road trip. "As long as we in this group, in this room, believe in ourselves, we know what we can do, we know that we can accomplish a lot of good things. Sometimes, that only motivates you when people start doubting you, saying last year was a fluke and all those things. But we know what we can do in this room, that's what's most important."

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Quote of the Day

The old saying in hockey is 'weather the storm.' I put the notion in their heads that we don't want to weather the storm, we want to push just as hard and matched their work ethic. I thought our guys exceeded that in the first period.

— Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins after their loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday
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